“You are my beloved. . . With you I am well pleased.” When Jesus was baptized by John in today’s Gospel, Jesus made the water holy for all of us to be baptized. When we are baptized, we too, hear the words calling us beloved. When we are baptized, we begin to see the world in a whole new way. “He saved us through the bath of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.”
Our patron, Saint Francis of Assisi, saw the world “upside-down,” as if he was in a handstand. Saint Francis’ love for God inflamed his heart so much that it changed everything. He saw the world and everyone around him differently because he knew that he was beloved by God.
Our life following our baptism is one of slowly breaking away pieces of a worldview that is based on so many other assumptions, habits, and fears. Many of these come from sin and its consequences. We live in a fallen world. Not everyone follows Christ. Sometimes this is painful and heavy to deal with. As Saint Paul reminded Titus in our second reading today, “The grace of God has appeared saving all and training us to reject godless ways and worldly desires and to live temperately, justly, and devoutly in this age. . .”
May this new year of our Lord 2022 bring us further conversion from our past sins and worldview. May we truly know how beloved we are and let this love be our new worldview!
Rev Mark Zacker